Appealed, p.12
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       Appealed, p.12
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         Part #3 of The Legal Briefs series by Emma Chase
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  She lifts her hips and my fingertips graze her smooth skin as I slide her pants down her thighs, leaving the tiny scrap of white silk panties in place. Her legs are beautifully sculpted and the perfect length to wrap around my waist, my shoulders . . . my neck.

  Then I stand up and take it all in, gazing at the sweet image of her beautiful form perched at the end of my bed.

  “Get under the covers,” I whisper.

  As Kennedy settles in the center, her head on the pillow, I sit on the edge of the bed and remove my prosthetic. Then I turn and slide under the covers beside her. Without a word, she molds against me. The cool feel of her flesh is a shock at first, but in just a few moments, my heat chases away her chill.

  Except for her feet. I practically hit the ceiling when she runs one up my calf.

  “You’re like a fucking ice cube!”

  She laughs kind of evilly.

  We face each other, almost nose to nose. Her hair still drips at the ends and a drop trickles over her collarbone, down her chest, and I have to take a deep breath—because I want to lick it off her so badly.

  “Talk to me,” she says softly. “Do you . . . do you still talk to anyone from school?”

  “No.”

  “Tell me about your friends. Your partners at the firm. What are they like?”

  It’s true that you can tell a lot about a person by the company they keep. Assholes tend to gravitate toward each other, making themselves look better or worse, depending on the circumstance.

  “Stanton’s a really good guy. Solid, you know? He tries to do the right thing—it’s important to him—but sometimes he can’t get out of his own way. But still, he’s the kind of guy you could call if you’ve got a flat tire at 2 a.m. in the middle of a blizzard—he wouldn’t hesitate to throw on his boots and come get you.”

  I see Kennedy’s responding smile in the dim light.

  “Sofia has three older brothers, so she’s tough, but it hides a very soft center. She’s passionate and funny . . . she’s like the big sister I never had.”

  Kennedy’s palm runs over my bicep—tentative at first—then with a surer touch.

  “And Jake . . . you’ll like Jake. He’s really mean.”

  Her muffled laugh fills the air. “He’s mean?”

  There’s a grin in my voice when I answer. “Totally. He puts up this hard-ass front—and he is tough—but it’s only because he doesn’t want people to see how deeply he cares. He notices everything—every detail. And he’d happily commit murder for the people he loves.”

  “They sound like really good friends.”

  “Yeah, they’re the best. I’m lucky.”

  We’re silent for a few minutes. The thrum of my heartbeat jacks up as her hand continues to stroke my arm. Up and down, smooth and warm.

  “Brent?” Her voice is the barest whisper, like she’s checking to see if I’m asleep.

  “Mmm?”

  “I . . . I missed you so much.”

  And I’m done.

  The need to kiss her, to touch her, has been pulling at me like a raging current ever since I saw her on my front step, and with those few words, I let the current take me.

  I close the miniscule distance between us and press my lips against hers. She sinks into me with a sigh. Her mouth molds to mine—I cup her jaw with one hand, and she opens for my tongue to slide against hers. It feels unreal—sweet and amazingly familiar. I groan with the taste of her.

  And it’s like I’m seventeen again, back in that Ferrari. Hot excitement courses through my bloodstream with every pound of my heart. Need and desire; wanting to touch her everywhere, yet wanting to savor every second.

  And suddenly I realize why what I felt back then was so powerful. It wasn’t because I was a horny kid who couldn’t wait to blow his load.

  It was her.

  This beautiful, sweet, strong girl in my arms. She got to me forever ago—under my skin, into my heart—and she’s been there, waiting, ever since. And now she’s here—in my bed—her skin flushed with excitement, her fingers gripping my shoulders, her teeth nibbling at my lips in a way that makes me almost lose my fucking mind.

  Without breaking contact with her mouth, I raise up on one elbow so I’m hovering above her. Her stomach contracts under my palm as my other hand slides over it and comes to rest on one perfect breast. She fits beautifully in my hand, and when I squeeze its softness, Kennedy moans and sucks hard on my tongue, showing me how much she likes it.

  I rub my hand in a slow circle, squeezing with my fingers, feeling the fevered point of her hard nipple against the center of my palm. And she whimpers in my mouth, arches up into my touch. I spread kisses from her lips, down her jaw, covering the spot on her neck where her pulse jumps with pleasure. I suction that skin, tasting the remnants of rain and sweat and that special flavor that is hers alone

  She breathes hard, and her hands are everywhere—running through my hair, sliding down my back, kneading the muscles in my shoulders and arms. I lick my way up to her ear, scraping her lobe between my teeth, and my hand reverses course. Sliding back down with teasing slowness to where her pelvis is rising, looking for friction but only finding air.

  And I’m going to take care of that for her.

  When my hand settles between her legs, over her panties, my fingers resting against her pussy, I rasp into her ear, “Is this okay?”

  And she gives me the sweetest of all three-letter words.

  “Yes.”

  My hand contracts, my fingers press against her opening—letting her feel the pressure, letting her imagine how fucking fantastic it’s going to be when they plunge inside. A frenzied sound comes from her throat and her hips gyrate against me, begging for more.

  “What do you want me to do, Kennedy?”

  I slide my hand back and forth, teasing, taunting, stoking her fire.

  She yanks on my hair. “Touch me.”

  She pulls my mouth back to hers, wild now, her tongue swirling and licking, wet and desperate. And my hand never stops its sliding motion. I can feel her clit now beneath the silk, swollen and reaching for release.

  “More,” she pants, her eyes squeezed closed. “Please, touch me more.”

  I move my hand up to her stomach, covering her belly button, and then I slip beneath that silk. And something about my hand being under her panties makes it even hotter.

  A moment later I’m the one moaning, my eyes squeezed tight against the overwhelming sensation of Kennedy’s smooth, bare skin sliding against my hand.

  Oh fuck, she’s so wet. And her heat is scorching and perfect. I want to drive my tongue deep into that heat—feel it wrapped tight around my cock.

  Resisting that need, wanting to please her more, I slide two fingers between her swollen lips, but don’t yet plunge inside. I spread her wetness on her clit, around her opening, rubbing tight circles that make Kennedy’s legs spread wider.

  “Like this?” I tease against her neck.

  Her mouth opens on a moan.

  But then she turns the tables on me. Her hand dips into my boxers, wrapping around my dick and squeezing with the perfect amount of pressure, stopping just short of pain.

  And then she strokes up—twisting her wrist at the tip. And I feel light-headed, drunk on her touch, and thirsty for more.

  Kennedy presses her head back against the pillow, away from my lips, until I open my eyes and look into hers.

  And then she smirks. “Like this?” she asks in a teasing tone.

  Her thumb traces the tip of my cock, sliding back and forth, moving the precum to her palm for lubrication—but not yet stroking again. Because she’s waiting for my answer.

  I grin down at her. “Faster.”

  She doesn’t hesitate. Her slick hand pumps me in smooth, firm jerks—and my eyes want to roll back in my head, it feels so goddamn good. But I keep them focused on Kennedy.

  Waiting for her answer.

  And she orders, “Deeper.”

  My two fingers instantly
slide into her pussy. And I groan, because she’s wet, fucking heaven. Her muscles squeeze my fingers as they drive in and out, in perfect time with her stroking hand.

  My thumb finds her clit and she keens, arching her neck—pressing into my touch.

  And then I’m kissing her again. Because when she comes—and by the feel of it, she’s close—I want to taste her moan.

  My hips thrust into her tight hand. My tongue delves into her warm mouth. My fingers rub and plunge. And I feel the tightening in my balls, the tingling in my spine, the carnal pressure low in my gut.

  Fuck, I’m going to come so hard. And I want her with me when I do. I want us to shatter together, ’til there’s nothing left of her or me. There’ll only be us.

  And then Kennedy’s pussy clenches tight around my fingers in silky, rhythmic contractions, again and again. She comes with a scream against my lips—and I let out a long, serrated groan against her. Wave after wave of intense pleasure streams through me as I pulse in her hand and come on her stomach.

  For several long moments, we gasp and pant, holding on to each other. Spots float before my eyes—because it was just that fucking intense. With a contented sigh, Kennedy rests her face against my arm. I lean down and kiss her lips sweetly.

  When it’s time to clean up, I’d love to just rub my come into her skin and call it a night. But I’m guessing it’s too soon for that.

  I use the crutches leaning against the wall to head into the bathroom, and return with a warm, wet cloth. Kneeling beside her, I wipe her stomach. She follows my intimate movements with glazed, drowsy eyes and a small satisfied smile. She giggles when my fingers tease her rib cage.

  Then I toss the rag and collapse in the bed next to her. She eagerly comes into my arms, and we both fall asleep.

  • • •

  A few hours later, gray morning light is just peeking through the shades when my eyes crack open to see Kennedy standing in the middle of my room. Jiggling her ass into her wet jeans.

  It takes a few seconds for my mouth to get the message from my brain.

  “What are you doing?”

  She turns sharply, like she wasn’t expecting me to wake up. “I have to get home. I have to shower and get ready for court.”

  With a yawn, I say, “Okay, I’ll drive you.”

  “Don’t bother. A cab will be faster.”

  Ahhhhhh. Sweet, cuddly, open Kennedy has left the building.

  Defensive, jumpy, prickly-like-a-cactus Kennedy is in the house.

  Goddamn it.

  When she grabs her soaked sweater from the floor, I offer, “Do you want some dry clothes? You don’t have to—”

  “No thanks.” She yanks the sweater over her head and smiles tightly. “Wet clothes aren’t going to kill me.”

  I sit up—wide awake now. My voice rings clear and sharp.

  “Kennedy.”

  She freezes like a doe caught in the crosshairs of a rifle’s sight—and looks at me like I’m the hunter.

  “We need to talk about last night,” I tell her.

  “Let’s not, and say we did.”

  Then she walks the fuck out.

  I cup my hands around my mouth. “I’m so glad we agreed to be grown-ups about this. That’s working out great.”

  Her only answer is the closing front door.

  I throw myself back, pick up a pillow, and hold it over my face, trying to smother the frustration that is Kennedy Randolph from my mind.

  It doesn’t work.

  Looks like this is gonna be One Step Forward, Two Steps Back.

  Screw you, Paula Abdul. I never liked you.

  13

  I think about Kennedy the rest of the early morning. Occasionally, like during my long XXX-rated shower, I think about her in those teeny lace panties and matching bra.

  Though out of them would be more accurate.

  But mostly I just think about her. By the time I arrive at the courthouse, I come to the obvious conclusion that Kennedy has issues. Deeply rooted, steel-reinforced, gonna-be-a-mother-to-frigging-conquer issues.

  But it’s okay. I’ve been in and out of therapy for twenty years; if anybody knows about issues, it’s me. Actually, this demonstrates another way that we’re perfect for each other. We’re soul mates. Destined to be together, written in the stars, Bogie-and-Bacall perfect.

  Kennedy doesn’t see it yet—but that’s all right. Because I’m patient. And relentless. When I set my mind on something, there’s nothing I can’t do.

  And my mind’s on her.

  I want to figure her out, to learn every part of her—the soft curves, the sharp edges, the dark, shadowy corners she tries so hard to hide. I want to break down her doors, climb her ivory tower. I want to slay all her fucking dragons.

  She probably won’t appreciate it at first—but eventually she’ll come around. It’ll be great.

  • • •

  Kennedy’s not in court when I arrive. I sit at the defense table, my hand on Justin’s shoulder, filling him in on today’s strategy and reassuring him that I’ve got his back, that it’s all going to be okay. It seems like I’m the only adult in his life who gives a shit; his parents aren’t here yet.

  Five minutes before court is scheduled to begin, I feel her. I know it sounds corny and absurd—but it’s true. The air becomes charged and drags my gaze toward the door. When she appears in the doorway, a barricade goes up in my lungs, caging my breath. Her suit jacket is dark burgundy, the color of a deep, red wine—high collared and short waisted—perfectly tailored for her petite form. The matching skirt molds to her hips and thighs, falling just above her knee. Sheer black silk stockings and sky-high heels finish the outfit. To the casual observer it’s a polished, professional look. But because I know the smooth skin and sweet curves encased within, it’s a teasingly erotic delight to me. Sexier than any Playboy bunny ensemble.

  Are her panties black? Red? Lace or silk?

  My dick thickens when I consider she might not be wearing any at all. Even better.

  Kennedy walks into the courtroom like a queen walking toward her throne. Her long hair is pulled back into a low bun, with one rebel strand brushing the delicate skin below her ear. And I remember how succulent that exact spot tasted last night, like sweet, ripened fruit.

  Just before she turns toward her table, she spares me a glance. Her face shows only professionalism, but in her eyes, need and indifference, affection and trepidation, all swirl in their depths. She looks lost. And my chest clenches with the fierce desire to protect her, to encourage her—to promise her that everything is going to be all right.

  I’m going to make sure of it.

  I give her an easy, reassuring smile, and something like relief passes over her features. Her returning nod is formal, then she gets settled at the prosecution table.

  After the judge calls us to order and runs through the preliminaries, dear old Mrs. Potter resumes her place in the witness box. I stand up to continue my cross-examination, buttoning my charcoal-gray suit jacket, and I wonder if things will be different between Kennedy and me in court from now on.

  If she’s going to be different.

  Kinder. Gentler. More . . . friendly.

  Halfway through my second question to Mrs. Potter, Kennedy hops to her feet.

  “Objection!”

  Okay—guess that answers that.

  • • •

  The moment the judge smacks his gavel to adjourn us for the day, Kennedy’s high heels click briskly as she grabs her briefcase and dashes past me out the door. My eyes follow her, but the rest of me sticks around to offer Justin a ride home, because neither of his parents showed today. An hour and a half later, Harrison drops me in front of the U.S. Attorney’s building. I take the stone steps two at a time and make my way to Kennedy’s closed office door.

  Her secretary says she’s in a meeting. A stealthy glance through the window tells me it’s an important meeting, considering there’s four serious-faced, lawyerish-looking men in suits hunched
over in deep discussion around her desk.

  “I’ll wait.” I tell the secretary.

  I hate waiting, especially when I have an ass spanking to deliver. And in this case, I mean that every way it can be taken.

  I sit in the empty chair outside Kennedy’s door, my right knee bouncing and my head tilted back against the wall.

  After forever, her door opens and the parade of men exits. The last one out, a burly, gray-haired guy, nods to her. “We’ll speak soon, Kennedy.”

  “Yes. Keep me informed.” She nods back, her face set like a seventeenth-century plaster bust. That was a very unhappy era for ceramics.

  I wait until the last man turns the corner, then I step into Kennedy’s office, closing the door behind me. She sits at her desk, staring down at a file like she wants to set it on fire with her eyes.

  I reach behind my back and lock her door. Then I pull down the blinds, concealing us from the outside world. If Kennedy picks up on my actions, she doesn’t show it.

  I stroll toward her desk, doing my best Heath Ledger–Joker impersonation. “Why so serious?”

  Kennedy sighs, still glaring down at the file. “My mob case from Vegas just got kicked back on appeal. Moriotti got himself a new trial.”

  I lean against the corner of her desk. “Are you going to retry him?”

  “Absolutely. The son of a bitch deserves to spend the rest of his life in a cold, dark hole, and I’m going to be the one to put him there.”

  My whistle is long and impressed. “In case I haven’t mentioned it before, that vengeful streak is damn sexy.”

  She doesn’t laugh. She doesn’t smile. “I really don’t have time to talk right now.”

  “Yeah . . . I don’t particularly feel like talking either. But—”

  Surprising her, I yank her chair out, spin it around, and brace my hands on the arms, leaning down. Caging her in.

  For a hot second I’m distracted by the way her chest heaves, the way her eyes round, and her lips part—just wide enough to slip my tongue in. My cock would require her to open wider—and that thought’s pretty damn distracting too.

  “But—whether we want to talk or not, it looks like I need to lay some ground rules.” My gaze burns into hers and my voice is almost as hard as my dick. “Rule number one—you don’t set one pretty toe out of my bed without waking me up first. Ever.”

  I lean in and skim my nose up the delicate line of her neck, then I drag my tongue down the same path to her pulse point—wrapping my lips around it and sucking—hard enough to leave one bitch of a mark.

  But . . . that’s the price she pays.

  “I jerked off twice in the shower,” I hiss against her skin. “And I was still hard as a goddamn rock watching you in court.”

  That little tidbit gets me a nice whimper. But I’m not done. “And I swear to Christ, I could still smell you on my fingers. It drove me crazy all fucking day.”

  I tilt back until I’m looking into her eyes. They’re lit up with heat and sublimely stimulated.

  “Stop looking at me like that,” I bark.

 
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